Relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan were further strained over the weekend after the White House caught wind of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s musings that he might join the Taliban as a reaction to pressure from the West to make some changes in his country.

Politico reported over the weekend that Karzai called U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday to “clarify” the accusations he’d made earlier that week about the United States’ alleged role in election fraud in his country. However, that call apparently happened before Karzai let fly with his comment about taking up with the Taliban, which spurred White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to voice dismay “on behalf of the American people” on Monday.

“The Two-Way” on NPR:

“On behalf of the American people, we’re frustrated with the remarks,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters this morning.

According to the Associated Press, the news of what Karzai reportedly said came from Afghan lawmakers who met with him Saturday.

“He said that ‘if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban’,” said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar, AP reported.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig